itcmonsterrozgarBSE-listed FMCG firm ITC‘s e-Choupal initiative and job portal Monster India have launched a portal called to specifically cater to rural job seekers in India.

Rozgar Duniya’s starting page is in Hindi but the page can be viewed in English too. It has job categories such as textiles and weaving, teaching, mechanic and auto repair, data entry and industrial jobs such as motor binding, steel fabrication, glass blowing, khallasi and administration jobs.

The domain Rozgar Duniya was registered in February 2009. It sports a dormant look and a limited database. Mint reports that it will take 3 weeks for the website to put up 150 job listings.

Reaching Out

The two companies are initially targeting four states – Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan but will scale it up to nine states and about 40,000 villages using e-Choupal network. e-Choupals are Internet kiosks in villages that offer farmers crop, weather and market information. ITC has set up 6,5oo such e-Choupals so far in 10 states and claims to reach a whopping 4 million farmers. It plans to extend this network to 15 states and 20,000 e-Choupals in the next five years.

ITC will be training its e-Choupal Sanchalaks, farmers who were trained to operate the kiosks, to help others in their community use the website and apply for jobs. This is a vital step to bridge the crevasse between rural job seekers and the Internet. SREI Sahaj, which has the mandate of setting up 27,000 CSCs (kiosks) across 7  states, also set up a team to train Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs/Sanchalaks) on approaching rural job seekers and connecting them with it’s job website Over 12,000 CSCs by Sahaj are operational so far and are each run by a VLE.


ITC's echoupal: courtesy ITC

Chaakri By SREI Sahaj

Chaakri, which was launched in February, is still in a ramp up mode. In June, it added clients such as Eureka Forbes Ltd (Aquaguard & Aquasquare Divisions), and Subhash Projects Marketing Ltd in June. These firms added 280 listings for jobs available in Kolkata, Orissa, West Bengal and Assam. The website placed 22 candidates in May 2009.

Revenue Sharing

ITC and have entered into a revenue sharing agreement, details of which were not disclosed by the companies. No mention is made of the monetary benefit that gets passed down to the e-Choupal Sanchalak.

SREI Sahaj shares the revenues generated by the site with the VLEs it hires. In July, the SREI Sahaj appointed team covered 4 districts in West Bengal to impart training to VLEs on the offline services provided by jobs, its online registration and also the monetary benefits. The company has said in its newsletter that a VLE receives a sum once the process of registering a candidate on Chaakri and successfully placing him is complete.

Nikhil Pahwa adds:

I quite like the fact that Rozgar Duniya is available in both Hindi and English: having multilingual sites is a must for ITC and Monster – remember that e-choupal launched a Tamil language site last year. The other thing to ensure is that the information is accessible to the villagers, and not just restricted to the sanchalaks. We tend to take access to information for granted, but for people in rural areas, education, language and sometimes regional, caste or personal issues can influence access to information.

From a Monster perspective, I wonder if it’s a good idea to restrict this partnership just to ITC. There’s an opportunity for them to perhaps run Chaakri for Sahaj as well, or even consider a mobile based component, given that there won’t be a CSC  or an e-choupal in every village. Also, it’s unlikely that returns from this initiative will be significant for the first few years – right now, the focus will probably be on getting both employers and potential employees to use it.

In all of this, lets not forget that the Indian government has also announced plans for a national level job portal, which will probably, support the NREGA scheme.


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